Pupukea Road

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Life is short

I heard some tragic news today about someone I know. We aren’t close, but I have known her for many years.  Without beating around the bush – she is fighting for her life and I can’t stop thinking about her children.  Life is so unpredictable. 

The other day I noticed I was over 40. If I’m lucky enough to live to 80, it means that I’m living the 2nd half of my life right now. If my parents are fortunate enough to live to 90, they only have 20 years left – half the life I’ve already led.  It seems like the older you get, the faster time goes by. Days pass in minutes and years feel like seconds.  And then I thought, wait. It’s going so fast. Am I really enjoying it all? 

Yes, I definitely am. I can rattle off all of the obvious reasons – loving husband, healthy children, strong family,… But really I am happy.  I have coffee with friends. I live my days wandering around with my baby. I exercise in the morning  and kiss my girls goodnight before bed.  I get to watch my children run and hear them laugh. 

Every. Single. Day. 

Life is so short. You never know what will happen next. It’s unfortunate that traumatic events remind you that it can be taken away so quickly.  I wish it were an automatic reflex for everyone to hug longer, love more, and worry less.  

There is no real end to this post, sorry, I’m having a hard time focusing because that news really hit me. (I’m actually thinking: “How is everyone going on with life right now while a young mother is in a hospital?” It feels THAT close to home.) 


My view while I contemplate life.



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How I save money (and how I spend it!)

I’m not working, therefore I’m depending on my husband to bring home ALL of the bacon. I’ve been working since I was a teenager, so not bringing home a paycheck feels,…weird.

“I’m not just CHILLAXING”, I’m taking care of the baby.  I read this article:


but I still have stay-at-home guilt, so I’m constantly looking for creative, do-able ways to save our budget. (Plus, I love budget problem-solving. Something must be wrong with me.)

Here are some things I do:

1. Use my own modem for Internet: Doing this saves me $8 per month. I would otherwise be charged the same amount in “equipment rental fees” from my cable company. In 10 months, the modem will have paid itself off and I will be ahead.

2. Bring my own cup/bag: Coffee houses and most grocery and big box stores offer you a few cents off if you bring in your own bag/coffee cup. It’s a very small amount, but it adds up. (I’m actually assuming this – I’m not really counting.)

3. Shop online: This can go either way for me. Access to the Internet gives me an open mall 24/7, but it also lets me comparison shop for anything from pasta to a pair of shorts. I also make sure to look for coupon codes (mostly on retailmenot.com) before clicking ‘BUY’.   (I have also been known to use my tax ID to get a wholesale or co-op account.)

4. Upgrade my cellphone plan: In a effort to stay competitive, companies are constantly changing their plans. It was the hardest thing to let go of my unlimited data plan for a shared family plan, but I’m so glad I did. We save about $50 a month with our new plans even though we stayed  with the same company (AT&T).

5. Not subscribe to a land line: I save $20 a month by NOT having a land line. When we had a land line, nobody answered it anyway.

6.  Frequent the library: My girls are avid readers and zip through books like wildfire. Instead of spending an entire paycheck at Barnes and Noble or in the Kindle store, I borrow books (including Kindle e-books) for free from  the public library.

7. Take an extended leave from work: I’ve heard this from other moms countless times. I was making money by working, but it was going straight to childcare. This is one area I wouldn’t want to ‘find the cheapest deal’ on.

8. Use essential oils instead of OTCs: Using essential oils has saved me countless trips to Longs.  I don’t use TUMs anymore (I’m digestive blend-dependent), asthma inhalers have been replaced (with lemon/lavender/peppermint), and tylenol is very sparingly used (peppermint, lavender, or deep blue resolves most fevers and growing pains). Yes, I spend money on oils, but they are pennies on the dollar compared to an albuterol prescription.

9. Use as little consumable goods as possible: Instead of paper towels, I use microfiber towels for cleaning (yellow ones from Costco) and cloth napkins for mealtimes. We use glassware instead of ziplocs, dryer balls instead of dryer sheets, and buy only 1 type of multipurpose cleaning solution (On Guard Cleaner concentrate – that will kill germs but still keep my entire house clean).

10. Go to clothing swaps and sell on eBay or Craigslist: Swapping gently used clothing with people you know is a great way to get designer labels for free. Whenever I am buying new and want something pricey, I search it’s resale value on sites like eBay and Craiglist before buying to make sure I can resell it in the future.  (I’ve sold a 3 year old purse because it was suddenly “vintage” and tripled my money.)

Sold this beauty on Craigslislist last week.

On the other hand, here are some frivolous ways I spend money. I would put effort into changing them, except, for one reason or another I’m not ready to.

1. Lease a car: If I bought a car outright, I wouldn’t have such a high car payment. On the other hand, I used to spend hundreds of  dollars on repairs to my owned vehicles ( new brakes, new tires, batteries, etc.).  With a lease it gives me the option to drop everything and start new. Like, every 3-5 years.

2. Go to Starbucks: This is my biggest vice. I try to make it at home but I really do think I deserve a $5 venti iced green tea latte sometimes.

3. Subscribe to cable: I would love to cut the cord, but until Ross stops working, we need the SURF Channel, which is only available with the premium package (of course).

4. Own a gym membership: Sure I could hike or surf, but being a member at my gym makes me so happy. I go to the beach with the girls everyday after school. Working out in air conditioning feels nice.  Here’s the link in case you forgot: https://pupukearoad.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/joined-nalu-kinetic-spa-at-turtle-bay/

5. Travel: Same as above. I could just stay home all year long – I do live in THE most beautiful place in the world, but then what?